I was working on a September collection of international articles about homeschooling, but this article from Israel deserves a blog post of its own.Â
Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem, Israel, 31 August 2006, Learning without lessons
Most homeschoolers in Israel follow the less structured “un-schooling” model which does not provide a set curriculum but rather tailors itself to children’s individual needs (see box).
Prof. Roni Aviram, chair of the Center for Futurism in Education at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, encourages homeschooling as an alternative to what he believes is the failure of the school system in the Western world, and especially in Israel.
According to Zinigrad, families from across the socioeconomic, political and religious spectrum are members of the homeschooling flock.
“Anyone who says it’s something elitist or like a cult is wrong.” While in the past, homeschoolers might have been isolated, there are now homeschooling groups all over the country, including one that meets bimonthly at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, and there are several Web sites and email lists.
There is no typical homeschooling family. While many families in the Jerusalem area are Anglos, in other areas of the country this is not the case.
“We are not an example of a homeschooling family. We are an example of our family that happens to homeschool,” says Dina.
“It takes a [certain] type of personality… [the parent] has to give up a lot if she [or he] chooses to take care of them at home… She doesn’t have a life. Others would say a mother who chooses to do that, that is her life.”
Trachtman takes the latter statement one step further.
“Have there been days when I’ve wanted to run off to Antarctica? Sure. But even on those days I have reflected on the fact that I wouldn’t have traded a single moment of my life with another person on this planet.”